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Exports Trend Flattens

Overseas Merchandise Trade (Exports): March 2001

The provisional value of merchandise exports for March 2001 is $2,899 million, according to figures released today by Statistics New Zealand. This value updates the early estimate of $2,880 million published on 1 May 2001. The monthly exports trend, after 23 months of continuous growth, is now flattening. However, as the imports trend continues to slowly rise, the effect on the balance trend is a decreasing surplus.

The seasonally adjusted value of merchandise exports for the March 2001 quarter is 3.3 per cent lower than in the December 2000 quarter.

The decrease in the March 2001 quarter to some extent reflects the large increase in the December 2000 quarter for the value and quantity of meat exports. Meat is 8.9 per cent lower in value in the March 2001 quarter than in the December 2000 quarter, which showed an increase of 20.5 per cent. The seasonally adjusted quantity decreased by 15.0 per cent in the March 2001 quarter.

The seasonally adjusted export value for fruit is 31.3 per cent lower in the March 2001 quarter than in the December quarter. The seasonally adjusted quantity of exported fruit decreased by 12.1 per cent in the March 2001 quarter.

These decreases were partly offset by the seasonally adjusted export value for dairy products, which is 8.9 per cent higher in the March 2001 quarter than in the December 2000 quarter.

Imports for March 2001 are valued at $2,806 million. The result is a trade surplus of $93 million.


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